New research from New American Economy shows that immigrant households in the Harrisonburg metro area earned over $257 million in 2016 and contributed $37.9 million to federal taxes and $19.8 million to state and local taxes. The report was prepared in partnership with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, City of Harrisonburg, and James Madison University.
In addition to their financial contributions, our report shows the foreign-born population’s contributions to the Harrisonburg workforce, as well as their role in staving off population decline. One in 10 immigrants are entrepreneurs, and foreign-born individuals are 12.6 percent more likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to start a business. And without 73 percent growth in the region’s immigrant population between 2011 and 2016, Harrisonburg would have seen the overall population decline by nearly a full percentage point instead of increasing by over 3 percent.
Our key findings include:
- Immigrant households in the Harrisonburg metro area earned $257.2 million in 2016. Of that, foreign-born households contributed $9 million in federal taxes and $19.8 million in state and local taxes. They were left with $199.4 million in spending power.
- Between 2011 and 2016, the population in the Harrisonburg metro area grew by 3.3 percent. The immigrant population grew by 73.2 percent, while the U.S.-born population declined by 1.0 percent. If not for the foreign-born population, the area would have experienced population decline.
- Immigrants contributed $780.5 million to the metro area’s GDP, accounting for 10 percent of the total GDP.
- Immigrants account for 13.8 percent of the area’s entrepreneurs. Despite making up just 9.7 percent of the overall population, immigrants represented 8 percent of entrepreneurs in Harrisonburg in 2016. This makes them 12.6 percent more likely than the U.S.-born to be entrepreneurs.
- Immigrants represented 12.1 percent of the area’s working age population. Foreign-born individuals represented 12.1 percent of the working-age population and 12.5 percent of its employed labor force.
- Over one-third of immigrants and refugees in the metro—or over 4,000 individuals— were naturalized citizens in 2016. Sixteen percent of the non-citizen population were likely eligible to naturalize.
Access the complete brief here.